Mar 23 - 29, 2009
People of Pakistan commemorating their National Day in remembrance of "The Pakistan Resolution" passed on March 23, 1940, in Lahore which was the foundation for creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent in 1947.
It is worth to recall that from 22 to 24 March, 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. On the first day of the session, father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah presented the solution of the problems faced by Muslim in India. He pointed out that the problem of India was not of an inter-communal nature, but clearly an international one and must be treated as such.
The differences between the Hindus and Muslims were so great and so sharp that their union under one central government was full of serious risks. They belonged to two separate and distinct nations and therefore the only chance open was to allow them to have two separate states.
"Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations that are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state".
"Muslims are a nation according to any definition of nation. We wish our people to develop to the fullest spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideals and according to the genius of our people" said Quaid-i- Azam.
It is unfortunate that even after 63 years of existence; our leadership has failed to evolve national priorities with the consensus of the stakeholders. As a nation we are lacking clear directions and goals to be achieved rather we look like an aimless crowd today.
The desires of the people of having a separate homeland where they would live without any fear of cultural, economic, social and political victimization still seems a distant dream.
Despite having enormous agriculture, energy, and above all the human resources the national economy could not capitalize on these rich natural resources primarily due to poor literacy rate. It is universally agreed that education offers the solution for all socio-economic issues which unfortunately has been the neglected area since inception of the country.
In fact, Pakistan was lucky to have strong agricultural base and was the least affected country of the current financial turmoil and economic recession which adversely affected the global economy.
Yet the economy suffered heavily due to external pressures stemmed from the global financial turmoil. As a result Pakistan had to seek financial assistance from international donors especially the IMF. Though the IMF program helped the economy to come out of the balance of payment pressures yet the assistance added the burden foreign debt on the other hand.
Currently, Pakistan is fast losing US market share in key products as the textile export has been far weaker on this front than the likes of China, India & Bangladesh during financial year 2009.
In fact, Pakistan's exports are under heavy pressure inline with the trend of regional exports indicating declining exports of regional peer like India -13.0% YoY; China -25.7%; and Taiwan -28.6%.
It is feared that in the backdrop of the current situation, lower Textile & Clothing exports will inevitably filter into lower total exports of the country where textile contributes around 55%.
On the basis of exports data it is assumed that total exports of the country would materialize at US$18billion as against the target of US$21.5billion for the current fiscal.
The situation calls for immediate corrective measures accompanied by a relief package to the export oriented industries especially in terms of electricity, gas prices and rationalization in tax structure to enable the foreign exchange earning industries to compete in the international market.
Though the central bank has reduced the interest rates on export financing by linking it to the export performance, yet it is the time to reduce interest rate to inject life in the allied industries in the downstream of the export oriented manufacturers.
Realizing the global trend towards the mark up regime, the central bank has also indicated for reducing the interest rate in the next policy review due sometimes next month. However it is expected that pressure on the Rupee exchange parity is to get some relief in the face of substantial economic slowdown, reduced exports & weak commodity prices which are likely to bring imports down by another US$2.0billion to US$32.5billion during the current fiscal ended June 30, 2009.
However some positive impact on textile exports especially bed wear exports expected in 2010 due to the recent reversal of EU anti dumping duty on Pak bed linen however its impact would be realized next year.
It is feared that the worst is yet to materialize for Pakistan's textile and clothing (T&C) exports as during seven months of the current fiscal exports are reported close to 3% lower YoY and the pace of decline to sharpen in months ahead. In view of the declining export market, the best way out is to develop domestic economy instead of worrying about depressed global market. Pakistan is again lucky to have a huge domestic market of over 160 million and among 10 countries of the world having 100 million plus population. It is the time to focus on capitalizing on the available domestic resources and the domestic market to get through the difficult times. Give relief to the inflation hit people by reducing price of electricity, oil and gas which in fact are the fuel of the economy in the current scenario. More and more resources are required to be diverted for human resource development as it is the education alone which is the key to all issues confronted to the nation.
PAK-BD UNDERSTANDING ON IT DEVELOPMENT PASHA SIGNS MOUs
Bangladesh's financial and government sector looking seriously at accelerating the automation of services, which offers a clear opportunity to Pakistani companies to partner with their counterparts in Bangladesh.
This was stated by Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association(PASHA).
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) Jehan Ara, and the President of the Bangladesh Software and Information Services (BASIS) Mr. Habibullah Karim on March 16, at the Dhaka Club in Bangladesh.
The MoU signing was witnessed by Mr. Ayaz Mohammad Khan, the Deputy High Commissioner for Pakistan in Bangladesh, Mr. Zulfiqar Younis, the Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka, as well as senior IT company representatives from both the countries. This arrangement is likely open up the doors for cooperation between the IT industry Associations of both countries.
Some Pakistani companies like TPS Pakistan, NADRA, Acrologix and others are already working on projects in Bangladesh, there are opportunities for others and it is hoped that this MoU and visits, seminars and networking opportunities that will follow, will add impetus to the growing relationship between the industries of both countries, she said.
Other areas of cooperation would include sharing research and experience in the areas of legislation and policy making . Bangladesh, for instance has recently enacted an Electronic Transactions Ordinance but has no regulation regardind PKI or digital certificaes and signatures. This is an area that Pakistan can assist them with.
In his address on the occasion, the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Ayaz Muhammad Khan, expressed the hope that this would be the beginning of more business activity between the industries of Pakistan and Bangladesh. He assured all those present on the occasion of his office's full cooperation and facilitation in ensuring that any stumbling blocks that may exist were removed.